Lipo Risks and Possible complications
Although the FDA has approved Lipo, and although there have been hundreds of thousands of successful, uneventful Lipos, it is still important to understand that Lipo is a surgical procedure and that, like all other forms of surgery, Lipo is not risk-free.
By understanding these risks, potential Lipo patients will be better prepared to decide whether or not to undergo this procedure. Additionally, they will know how to minimize the risk involved.
Lipo: Minor Risks
There are a number of minor side effects that can occur in connection with Lipo surgeries. Some lingering pain is to be expected, although exactly how much and how long it will last will depend on a number of factors, including the Lipo technique used, the skill of your Lipo surgeon, and your own personal pain threshold. Numbness is also a common side effect after Lipo, as some minor nerve damage may occur, but that should clear up as the nerves themselves heal.
There is also a good chance that you will experience moderate to severe bruising. Although these bruises may be painful and unsightly, they shouldn't last too long. Most bruises should disappear within a month of your Lipo surgery. Lipo is a surgery, and all invasive surgery cause bruises. However, the skill of your Lipo surgeon and the surgical technique that he or she uses will directly affect the amount of bruising that you experience. In general, the less traumatic the Lipo technique that your doctor uses; the less you will bruise.
Swelling is also extremely common after Lipo. All Lipo patients experience some amount of swelling, but some experience more than others. In general swelling is just a part of the healing process, but a sudden jump in the amount of swelling can be indicative of more serious problems and should be discussed with your Lipo doctor. Swelling is frequently experienced in the treated area, and it also sometimes occurs in the ankles. Lipo can also cause a swelling of the veins in the treated area. Swelling isn't bad in and of itself, although it can temporarily mask the effects of a Lipo procedure, which some people find disappointing in the short term.
The risk of this swelling is one of the primary reasons why, if you are getting Lipo in preparation for a special event such as a wedding, cruise, or reunion, you want to make sure you schedule your Lipo well in advance of the event in question.
Lipo also carries with it a moderate chance of scarring, although scarring tends not to be very severe. Modern Lipo technology makes use of very small hollow needles called cannulas. These cannulas, which are used to remove the fat, often measure only millimeters across. Because these cannulas are so small, the incisions made can also be very small. This means less scarring. The size of the incision, and thus, the scar will depend based upon the operating surgeon, the Lipo technique used and the body area.
There are some cosmetic risks involved with any procedure such as Lipo. Because every patient is different and even the best of doctors is fallible, sometimes the results of Lipo do not meet the patient's hopes. Your best defense against this is to talk in depth with your surgeon before the Lipo procedure and try to explain to him exactly what you hope to achieve. This way he or she knows what look you're going for and can work to achieve it, or can let you know if in your case it simply isn't possible.
Finally, don't try to achieve too much too fast. This is not only potentially dangerous to our health, it can also sabotage your efforts to look the best you can. Although an unscrupulous surgeon may agree to help you take off more weight than is advisable in order to keep your business, removing too much fat from a single area can lead to unappealing blemishes such as dents, lumps, or dimples. The removal of too much fat can also lead to excess and saggy skin. Finally, even if these problems are avoided, taking too much fat from one area can make the body seem out of proportion to itself and unattractive.
Lipo: Major Risks
More serious complications are rare but possible. These serious complications include allergic reaction or overexposure to anesthetics, serious infection, excessive bleeding, permanent nerve damage and internal blood clotting. As with all surgeries, there is a small but present chance of fatal complication in Lipo surgery.
What Can I Do Before My Lipo To Minimize The Risk Of Complications?
The possibility of these complications can never be fully eliminated. However, there are some things that a patient can do to minimize the risks of Lipo. The first is to pick a good Lipo surgeon. There's a good chance that there are many surgeons in your area who offer Lipo. Not all Lipo surgeons are equally experienced, and their level of skill directly affects the risk level of Lipo. Going to free Lipo consultations and doing research over the internet can help you get a grasp on which cosmetic surgeon in your area you would be most comfortable with.
A second important thing that you can do is to learn more about exactly which form of Lipo you would like. Just as Lipo doctors are different, there are also a wide variety of Lipo techniques. Over the last decade, a number of new Lipo techniques have come up, including water-assisted Lipo, laser lipolysis and ultrasonic Lipo. Each of these techniques works differently, and each affects the body differently. These new Lipo techniques are less invasive than earlier techniques, and they can be less traumatic for your body. However, remember that a new technique is no substitute for a skilled and experienced Lipo surgeon.
Another thing that you can do to improve your chances is to simply live healthily. The healthier your body is going into surgery, the healthier it will be coming out, and the more easily it will be able to deal with and heal from complications. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, exercise regularly. Cut back on alcohol, and stop smoking altogether. If you do these things, you can maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of your Lipo.
One final thing that can drastically reduce your risk of complications is to be perfectly honest with your Lipo surgeon. Do not withhold any part of your medical history, and tell him or her about all of the medications you take, including over the counter drugs.
Similarly, you should follow all of the pre-op instructions your Lipo surgeon gives you.
What Can I Do After My Lipo To Minimize The Risk Of Complications?
Since everyone's body reacts a little differently to the trauma of Lipo, the very most important thing you can do to encourage a normal, healthy recovery is to stay in contact with your Lipo doctor. Keep all of your follow-up appointments, and make sure you tell your Lipo doctor about the specifics of your healing process. Tell him or her about your swelling, bruising and any other side effects you might have; he or she will be able to determine whether or not they are indicative of anything serious. If you experience fever after the first 48 hours after surgery, excessive pain or notice that your drainage smells foul, be sure to alert your Lipo doctor.
Many people experience some dizziness or fainting during the first day or two of their Lipo. Be cautious as you move about, and especially as you get up. Falling over won't help your recovery process. Also, if you get faint at the sight of blood, realize that you should be cautious while changing your bandages, as they will be blood-tinged.
Wear the compression garments according to your Lipo doctor's orders. These will both help you to heal and will improve the cosmetic results of your Lipo surgery.
During the first few days after your Lipo, get adequate rest. Let your body heal. Once several days have passed, ease back into exercise and daily routine as your Lipo doctor recommends. Don't push yourself, though. Go at your own pace and you will heal with fewer hiccups. However, don't simply pass on exercise either; mild exercise can help you avoid blood clots and other potential complications.
Eat a healthy diet. Make sure you drink enough water or juice to keep yourself hydrated; you may have lost fluids during Lipo surgery without knowing it.
Shower, rather than bathe, and shower once or twice a day. Keeping the incision sites clean will help you to avoid infection. When you wash your incisions, make sure you wash your hands first.
If you have been prescribed antibiotics, make sure you take them until you have finished your prescription. Do not stop early, even if you feel totally fine.
If you experience itching, you can use benadryl. For pain, use tylenol. Avoid NSAIDS like ibuprofen, because these can cause increased bleeding and increase the chances of infection.
While you recover, do not use ice packs or heating pads in the areas where you have received Lipo. Do not go swimming or bathing for at least seven days after your Lipo surgery. The bacteria present in pools, hot tubs, lakes, ponds and oceans can increase the chances of infection.
Do not use hydrogen peroxide or other topical antibiotics on your incision sites. Use the absorbent wrappings or bandages given by your Lipo doctor; do not replace with plastic bandages like band-aids.
Finally, remember to tell your Lipo doctor if anything unexpected happens in your recovery process, regardless of whether you think it is serious or not. Remember, your Lipo doctor has had years of training to help him determine what is and is not a sign of trouble. The sooner he or she learns of a potential complication, the more effectively he or she can treat it.